David Anderson talks about Why Individual Measurement is Bad
All managers know that software development productivity is closely related to the ability of the individual. We've all known this since the early 70's. And we also know that the productivity differences can be huge. Sackman reported this in the late 60's. So managers start to think about how to identify the weaker links and hopefully eliminate them.
THIS IS SO WRONG!
David's focus is on developers, but this applies to any area where the group of people is just as - if not more - important to the project than individuals. Successful projects depend on the entire group working well together. As David sees it, individual measures work against group cohesiveness. I've written more lines. I've answered more phone calls. I've put out more fires. Therefore I must be better.
Has the fact that an individual shines done anything for the success of the overall project? Has the entire group been given new skills or capabilities with which to meet the next challenge? This reminds me me of a recent graphic somewhere in my aggregator that showede individual groups/teams learning and passing that learning to the next team, which starts at a higher level (action research?).
Individual measurement doesn't generally do anything to improve the throughput of the enterprise. The enterprise must learn how to improve overall. This includes improving how individual work, yes, but only in context of what that means for the whole.